Extreme Cold to Develop Tonight. Protect Yourself!

Published January 30, 2019 | Board of Health Nurse | Automatically Archived on 2/14/2019

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Winter in Massachusetts almost always includes periods of extreme cold weather. Exposure to cold can cause frostbite or hypothermia and has the potential to become life-threatening. Please protect yourself during a Cold Weather Event. Frost Bite and Hypothermia can set in quickly.

Extreme cold can cause cold-related illness, including:

  • Frostbite is the freezing of the skin and body tissue.
    • Symptoms — Loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, earlobes, face, and the tip of the nose.
    • Treatment — Get the victim into a warm location. Cover exposed skin, but do not rub the affected area. Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Hypothermia is abnormally low body temperature and is life-threatening.
    • Symptoms — Shivering, exhaustion, confusion, memory loss, and slurred speech.
    • Treatment — If symptoms of hypothermia are detected take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95°, seek medical attention immediately. Get the victim to a warm location. Remove wet clothing. Warm the center of the body first by wrapping the person in blankets or putting on dry clothing. Give them warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the person is conscious.

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